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LEMON MERINGUE PIE

The Food Journal of Lewis & Clark: Recipes for an Expedition
by Mary Gunderson

The Quakers receive credit for inventing lemon custard in the late 1700s. Philadelphian Elizabeth Coane Goodfellow, a pastry chef, businesswoman, and cooking school founder, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1806, took lemon custard to another level when she invented lemon meringue pie. Perhaps Lewis sampled his first slice of pie during his return visit in the spring and summer of 1807.

Makes 8 servings.


CRUST
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup lard or vegetable shortening
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water

FILLING
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 eggs separated
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
1/8 teaspoon salt


To make the crust, place the flours and salt in a medium bowl.
Cut in the lard with a pastry blender or with 2 knives until the mixture is the size of peas.
Sprinkle with water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough holds together.
Form into a ball, cover, and chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 10- to 11-inch circle.
Fold in half and in half again. Gently place in 9-inch baking dish.
Unfold and press into dish. Trim and flute edge.
Prick the sides and bottom of the crust generously with the tines of a fork to allow air to escape during baking.

Bake at 450°F for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Combine 1 cup of the sugar and 1/2 cup of the water in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes.
Combine the cornstarch and remaining 1/2 cup water in a small bowl.
Stir all at once into the hot sugar mixture.
Bring to a boil and stir 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture is clear and bubbly.

Stir about 1/4 cup hot mixture into the egg yolks and add to saucepan.
Cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, or until the mixture is glossy and the eggs are cooked.
Remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice, butter, and salt.
Stir until the butter is melted. Pour the hot filling into the cooled crust.

Place the egg whites in a medium mixer bowl. Beat until foamy.
While beating, add 1/3 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks hold.
Cover the filling with meringue, sealing the meringue to the edge of the crust over the filling.
Place in 350°F oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown.
Cool for about 1 hour before serving.
 

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